"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

29 December 2010

Putting 2010 to Rest

B and I are heading up north to my P's cabin for the remainder of 2010. Its a peaceful place to sit and do pretty much nothing except hike, cross country ski, sit by the fire, drink yummy beer and sleep.  I'm looking forward to a little quiet time after the holidays and a peaceful entry into 2011.

When I return, it will be just about a year since I started this blog. I'm sure I'll have some reflections to share and hope of the new year. So, with out further ado,  I wish you all a happy new year and I'll catch ya on the flip side...

28 December 2010


N is a part of my support group and has become a dear friend. She's been through the infertility ringer like many of us veterans: IUIs, IVF, OHSS, multiple transfers, first trimester miscarriage.... But somehow she remains strong and carries on with us, thinking of next steps, as we all do, on our goal to parenthood.

About 9 months ago, N announced to our group that her younger sister was pregnant is her first child. And while she was anxious about how she might feel over the course of the next 9 months, it turned out that she grew happier and happier for her. I was so impressed with her selflessness during this time. I'm not sure I would have had the grace to be so happy.

Last week, on the day her sister went into labor, N sent me a text with such a happiness that her sister was about to give birth. She was giddy with anticipation. She even told me that her sister, while in the middle of labor pains, was asking N if SHE was doing ok and handling this well. And when she gave birth, N beamed with love and happiness for her new, beautiful, healthy nephew and the sweet consideration of her feelings by her sister.

But then 3 days later, I got a phone call from N that I wish never had to happen. It was a day before the holiday. I was at work. I saw the phone ring from her an I picked it up... and before I could say anything other than hello, a painfully shattered and terrified voice cried into the phone, "HE'S GONE! HE'S GONE! THEY TRIED EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO SAVE HIM AND THEY COULDN'T! HE'S GONE"

An imperfection, no reason, just awful, painful, gut-wrenching randomness.

And as sudden as this baby boy was brought into the world, he was taken, ripped away from the the family that so longed for him.  And forever, N and her family are wounded deeper than they've ever been before.

And I cried for her, there in my office.

The thing is, even if we achieve the first steps of what we have been so aching for on our own baby quests, pregnancy does not guarantee a baby. Delivering a baby doesn't even guarantee you get to spend your lifetime with that child. And I know that might be an obvious statement to many of you, but this experience brutally reminded me of that.

When I got that call, I felt for a few moments in time, a rip through the gingerly held together fabric of my life, the fabric that keeps me sane and in reality and moving forward. I can only imagine what N felt and still feels, let alone her sister and husband. Their fabric has been ripped wide open, shredded, and taken away... and my heart bleeds for them and hopes that they can eventually find a way to pick up those pieces and repair the holes...

Life is fragile.

We. Only. Have. Now.

22 December 2010

ICLW Welcome and the Holidays

Hello fellow ICLW'ers and welcome to my little corner in the infertility blogosphere. I'm happy you stopped by!

Currently, we're getting ready to start IVF#4 in the middle of January. Our story can be found here (or in tab at the top titled "Our Journey"). Its been almost 4 years since we've started trying to conceive.

Today, I'm just trying to find some peace and strength to get through yet another holiday season with no baby on the way or in my arms. I actually think I'm mildly depressed (I suppose many of us are that experience this). I didn't even decorate the house this year or participate in any of  my family's gift exchanges. If I'm not keeping myself busy with work and take time to pause, I get sad and anxious. And the holidays don't help that. I know its not the holiday's fault, but I think it they mark the passage of time, and you start to realize how long you've been at this, with no end in sight.

We are however lucky in the sense that we don't have any nieces or nephews on my or B's side, so we don't have to spend the holidays with a bunch of infants and toddlers. I am however starting to get anxious about that happening in the near future as others in our family are getting married or starting to talk about baby-making. For now, I'm going to pretend that none of that is happening, even though I know the chance is there for me to find out a sibling or an inlaw is pregnant before we are... and that's going to be a hard slap in the face. I know its not a race, but I will just be a reminder of something we continually fail at.

Speaking of reminders, I don't really even want to open all of the beautiful holiday cards from my friends. I cherish that my friends send them to me and would be sad if they stopped, but sometimes its hard to take, to see that whole stack of families with their beautiful babies staring at me. I feel like they are laughing in a way... mocking me for the joy that lives in their lives and not in ours.

Yes, I know.. the goal here is to learn how to be present and find joy in what you do have, but the holidays have made it a lot harder for me to do that these past few years.

Well, I just wanted to say hello to you  joining me for ICLW and thanks for stopping by! I'd love for you to follow me too, so join up! And mostly, I wish you all peace and happiness through this holiday season.

17 December 2010

A Single Teardrop

I treated myself to a massage for my birthday last month. The masseuse asked me why my body was in such knots. I told her we were struggling to conceive and that we had just failed our 3rd IVF cycle. She was glad that I came in. My body needed work, but she thought my heart could help with some healing too. She told me I should come to her for some reiki.

Now I knew about reiki and I've actually had a little done here and there, but only for a few minutes while getting a massage. So I was a little apprehensive of scheduling a full hour of someone placing their hands on my body with out really doing anything else other than that, quietly. Awkward, huh?.. But I decided my heart could use some healing, so I took her up on it.

And I'm glad I did.

I walked in the same room I had been in a few weeks prior for my massage. We talked about setting an intention of letting go and finding peace. And then it began. I got up on the table, and laid on my back as she placed her hands my upper chest and I tried to quiet my mind.

Its hard to quiet ones mind. I've dabbled in meditation here and there and have at times felt pretty good at being able to at least quiet my mind when I get anxious, but often when I am quiet, my mind just wanders. And this was no different. My mind bounced here and there and everywhere in the beginning... 

Here's a few snippets:

"The music she has on is nice"
"I hope that I don't fall asleep"
"I wonder what causes her to make those noises with her breath"
"I'm hungry"
"It's my Friday off. I LOVE having my Fridays off. I can't wait for my yoga class later and then a big glass of wine. Should I skip my yoga class and just go straight for the wine?"
"Hmmm... I am feeling a bit more relaxed... kind of like when I go to acupuncture"
"I wonder if I could learn how to do this? I feel like I have an intuition to calm people. Is that what it takes?"
"I could try this on B when he's anxious and can't sleep."
"I wonder if this could work on the puppy!"

And then, all of a sudden, my monkey brain quieted and focused, not by my own doing, but by some other force. It was like a fuzzy lens that was moving in and out and all around, just simply stopped focused...

...and into focus came an image of my baby, a few years down the road. It was a girl. And she placed her hands on ME. And she looked up at me and a clear, calm thought came into my head.

"My baby will heal me... my baby will heal me"

...and a single teardrop dripped down the outside of my left eye, down my cheek...

...and I felt calm and peaceful and clear of the past and confident and hopeful of the future knowing that my baby hasn't stopped its journey to me. My baby is STILL coming... as fast as my baby can...

09 December 2010

Releasing it to the Universe

We've had many heavy conversations about our next steps over these past few weeks, debating moving on to donor eggs, or trying one final IVF cycle with my body before moving on to a new option.

There have been moments where I am searching through donor profiles thinking if I could just let go of certain traits, for example, blond hair, or height, maybe this could work. The promise of such high success rates and the hope of feeling a baby grow in my belly is so attractive!

But I was also recently standing in the kitchen one night, during a pause in cooking dinner, with my back to the stove, looking straight at B, holding a towel in one hand and a spatula in the other, sobbing those heaving heavy tears..."I'm NOT ready to give up on my eggs! Not yet. I like me! I want "my" baby. I need closure and I don't have that yet"

Back and forth, around and around, letting it stir in my head, in my dreams, consuming and devouring my thoughts and energy...

And then last Sunday, we had brunch at our favorite Indian buffet with our good friends. I don't think the conversation was very baby focused, and in fact I'm having trouble actually recalling much of what was said. But on our way back home in the car, during a pause in conversation, I looked at B and calmly said, "Can we try one... last... time?"

And he decidedly confirmed, "Yes"

And so, with that, and a quiet release of the heaviness, our decision has been made.

One. Last. Time.....

Did you hear me, universe?




07 December 2010

My First Award - Cherries!

Yeah! I got my first blogger award! My friend KC over at "You wouldn't even make an omelet with these stale eggs" gave this to me. Thanks KC! I'm happy that you chose me as a beautiful blogger with that little bit extra ;-) Now I need to pass on the love...

Here are the rules to the blog award:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you
2. Pass it on to five or more other bloggers
3. Leave a comment telling them about the award

I have so many blogs I love to follow so it was hard to choose. But I decided to recognize the following bloggers as they have recently made me feel like I'm not alone in this. Thank you all!

Running Mamma at "More Room in my Heart"
Saige at "Return to Innocence"
Sara at "The Rocky Road to Motherhood"
Baby Bump Bound at "Waiting for a Baby Bump"
CGD at "Adventures in Infertility Land"

04 December 2010

My Brain

I'm still wading in my emotions right now and I want to come out. I want to be free of this journey but the only way to be free is to keep going through. But its really thick right now... and heavy. Its like a muddy sloppy trek through a thick dark forest and I can't see the end and I'm carrying a big pack filled with my gear that makes each step a struggle. The gear I carry with me is all the research I've done, all the statistics and protocol variations, all of the what ifs of cycles past and donor eggs of the future, all of the money spent and the knowledge of the money to be spent.

This journey can suck the life out of you  if you let it. Many of us who are multiple IVFers have found ourselves here, with a new set of sadness and struggles. We're past that point of the initial infertility shock and loss and failure. We're the veterans, the ones who's hope fades from time to time, who are past that shining star of the promise of their first or even second IVF.

I'm not saying our pain is any more than the pain of those who are successful on their first IVF cycle, let alone their first IUI, but I'm just saying we're at a different point in this journey.... Considering 4th, 5th IVF cycles, donor eggs, adoptions...

I think its different because we have to face the real possibility that we will never see our own biological child. (And I do know some face this without even attempting IVF... so please don't take this as anything other than one experience/perspective). That was not in view with my first IVF cycle 2 years ago, even our second... But now, its real. Its SO real that it hurts like hell. I've grieved that I can't conceive a baby the natural way, that I've made peace with. But now I'm grieving the possible loss of  my genetic child.

It makes me wonder how many of us are there? What percent of people make it this far? What percent are successful with their first IVF or with their first IUI? Am I the norm or am I the exception?

Anyways, B and  I spent a half hour at our clinic last night looking through donor egg profiles. It was a heavy night. It didn't feel right yet. It felt sad and strange and somewhat wrong. So I think that just confirms I'm not ready to make decisions yet.

We did however, lay out all the options the other night and here's what came out as when I tried to organize the mess in my brain.  Remember those old anti-drug commercials with the scrambled egg in a frying pan saying "This is your brain on drugs", well...

This is your brain on infertility:

For the math geeks in the audience,  I even calculated the probability weighted cost for each option (not pictured)